We alternately measured on-road and in-vehicle ultrafine (<100 nm) particle (UFP) concentration for 5 passenger vehicles that comprised an age range of 18 years. A range of cabin ventilation settings were assessed during 301 trips through a 4 km road tunnel in Sydney, Australia. Outdoor air flow (ventilation) rates under these settings were quantified on open roads using tracer gas techniques. Significant variability in tunnel trip average median in-cabin/on-road (I/O) UFP ratios was observed (0.08 to ∼1.0). Based on data spanning all test automobiles and ventilation settings, a positive linear relationship was found between outdoor air flow rate and I/O ratio, with the former accounting for a substantial proportion of variation in the latter (R2 = 0.81). UFP concentrations recorded in-cabin during tunnel travel were significantly higher than those reported by comparable studies performed on open roadways. A simple mathematical model afforded the ability to predict tunnel trip average in-cabin UFP concentrations with good accuracy. Our data indicate that under certain conditions, in-cabin UFP exposures incurred during tunnel travel may contribute significantly to daily exposure. The UFP exposure of automobile occupants appears strongly related to their choice of ventilation setting and vehicle.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Environmental Science and Technology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 May 2010|